Archive for the ‘Infant & Pregnancy Safety’ Category

New Study Warns Against Prolonged Time in Car Seats for Infants

Monday, August 31st, 2009
Baby in Car Seat.

Baby in Car Seat.

Safe transportation of infants, both preterm and term, with the use of car seats and car beds is essential. Car seats and car beds prevent injury and death according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. However, previous studies have shown some respiratory compromise occurs in preterm infants placed in car seats. It has now been demonstrated in a study by L. Cerar from Pediatrics August 2009 that the same might be true of full term infants.

Two hundred newborns were evaluated on the second day of life by measuring oxygen levels and breathing patterns in car seats, car beds, and cribs. The same infants measured in each of the devices also served as their own controls. It was found that oxygen levels were significantly lower in both car seats and car beds compared to hospital cribs. In addition, even those infants that were able to compensate for the respiratory limitations initially were found to develop respiratory compromise with prolonged periods of time due to deeper sleep stages and more chest wall muscle fatigue.

The reasoning behind the findings is that there is some obstruction to the airway due to flexion of the head when an infant is placed in the car seat or car bed causing these lower oxygen levels. The other important factor is some compromise of the chest wall motion that occurs in the upright position even though the safety belt was standardized to allow for 1 finger width distance between the infant and the harness.

The conclusion from this important study is that parents should only use car seats and car beds for travel and not as a replacement for a crib. Infants should not be placed in these transport safety devices for prolonged periods of time. Finally, manufacturing companies should brainstorm on how to redesign these devices to eliminate the respiratory compromise that occurs when infants are placed in the upright position with flexion of the head for prolonged periods of time. Most pediatric specialists do not feel that the implications of this compromise is significant in the long run but others feel that even a mild amount of obstruction might be associated with behavioral problems and IQ deficits.

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Should pregnant women use seat belts?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Many pregnant women have  concerns about using seat belts  when driving because of fears that  the constraint might be more harmful to the baby during an accident. However, new research has shown that seat belts and airbags reduce the risk of trauma, fetal loss, and early delivery caused by motor vehicle accidents.
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How Does Air Flight Affect Pregnant Women?

Monday, June 15th, 2009

With summer vacations approaching, holiday air travel is common. Pregnant women often question the safety of air travel.
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Swimming Pools and Saunas—Are They Safe in Pregnancy?

Monday, June 8th, 2009

With the summer months approaching, pregnant women are concerned about the risks to themselves and their baby in swimming pools and saunas. There is no question that the risk of bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections can increase during this time.
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Circumcision — The Cutting Edge

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

The debate over circumcision is centuries old. Worldwide, about 25% of males undergo this procedure. In the United States, over 60% of males are circumcised. New evidence has recently emerged that brings forth additional benefits of this procedure, making it more appealing to new parents.
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The information provided in these articles and on this website is intended for educational and informational purposes only.
This information should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your medical professional,
and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
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